January 6: Rioters caught near Obama’s home and remain in custody


The suspect in the US Capitol riots, who was arrested near the home of former President Barack Obama in Washington, DC last month, will be held pending trial, a federal judge ordered Wednesday.

The January 6, 2021 defendant, Taylor Taranto, was arrested on June 29 and charged as a fugitive from justice after he was seen walking towards the Obamas’ residence. A search of Taranto’s van, which was parked near the former president’s home, turned up two firearms and hundreds of rounds of ammunition.

Police officers had an open warrant for Taranto’s arrest in connection with his involvement in the Capitol riot. A lawsuit was also filed against Taranto alleging that he “directly aided, abetted, and encouraged” an attack in the Capitol on a Metropolitan Police Department officer who later died by suicide.

Taranto is now awaiting trial on four misdemeanor charges related to his actions in the US Capitol. Politico reported. US Judge Zia Faruqui said on Wednesday that Taranto represented too great a danger and ordered his custody.

The FBI had been monitoring Taranto’s online accounts after supporters of then-President Donald Trump attacked the Capitol, prosecutors said said in a memo He called for Tarantos to be arrested before his trial. But in the weeks leading up to his arrest, alarm was raised when Taranto allegedly displayed signs of “erratic behavior,” including multiple statements that he intended to detonate his van near the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

He made several statements suggesting he planned to blow up his vehicle at NIST, including a statement that he had a detonator, that he was on a “one-way mission,” and that The vehicle was self-propelled, so he did not want to be anywhere near it when it went off,” prosecutors said in a report Submission on July 5th.

On the day of his arrest, Taranto also reshared a post from Trump’s Truth Social account that allegedly included Obama’s address. NBC News reported.

At Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors also highlighted two Taranto-related incidents that occurred at elementary schools in Maryland. In one instance, he and others allegedly projected a film related to the January 6 attack at one of the elementary schools, and he filmed children at another school. CNN reported. Taranto reportedly chose to show the film at the first school, Piney Branch Elementary School in Takoma Park, because it is near where Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin resides, he told prosecutors in a livestream of the event called in court documents. (Raskin served on the House special committee investigating the January 6 attack and was the lead impeachment officer in the House trial against Trump after attempting to overturn Joe Biden’s presidential victory.)

Taranto’s attorney, Kathryn Guevara tried to push that Taranto be placed in domestic custody under the supervision of his parents, who live in Washington state, rather than remain incarcerated pending trial. Guevara added that Taranto sustained multiple injuries from the attack at the District of Columbia prison. CNN reported.

But Taranto’s actions, particularly his statements about elected officials and his presence near their residences, prompted Faruqui to order remand.

Taranto is expected to appeal the pre-trial detention decision in a US District Court. His next hearing is scheduled for July 25.

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